Dirty Sanchez – Bad Chad’s Gangster Build

Published In The January 2014 Issue Of Cycle Source

Article By: Mitch Modine Photos By: David Thompson

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John Dodson of Gangster Choppers in Richmond, VA has a beautiful 2500 sq ft retail store with a 5000 sq ft repair shop that caters to all motorcycle types. They have been in business since 1999, and John has been wrenching on motorcycles and cars since he was a kid. When he was only 13 years old, his father built him a cinder block garage in the backyard of their home. John still uses that backyard garage to build his personal projects and special builds for customers. After working 9 – 6 everyday in the retail store, his shop out back is a great getaway to focus on just building bikes and getting work done. If he can’t sleep at night, it is always the remedy. The garage is set up with a lathe, mill, welder and all the fab tools to get the job done. The bike you see here was built in that same cinder block building and was built as John’s personal ride. In the retail store, John has a place to stash parts for his personal projects. This particular stash pile started with a 1974 Shovel motor that he had scored from Billy Lane a bunch of years ago. The next piece of the puzzle was a Chassis Design frame that he actually acquired from me. Years went by and many swap meets and deals were made; finally, the stash pile was big enough to start the build. It was then brought to the garage and the project was under way. In about three weeks’ time, John wheeled out 74/74. He brought it to his retail store so he could put it on display but had no intentions of selling it. That was when Bad Chad walked in and said, “I want that!” A deal was made. Previously, Chad had one of those big tire, TV style choppers, and then later he switched to a bagger. He realized he needed a nice riding hotrod motorcycle; 74/74 fit the bill perfectly. Chad did want to change a few things though. Gangster Choppers handled that, and Bad Chad rode off on his new, sweet ride. Some of the details on this build are the 1974 Shovel motor which was freshened up using mostly stock parts, including the rods, pistons, cams and heads. A Dyna 2000i ignition and an S&S B carb were used to get it running strong. The exhaust was then fabbed up and dumps out on each side of the bike. John’s father, Ken Dodson, made the exhaust tips on the lathe and mill out of hunks of aluminum. A BDL primary powers the Harley Softail trans. The tranny was rebuilt using quality American made parts from Baker Drivetrain. The Chassis Design frame is home for all of these goodies. John found a Kiwi Leaf Springer Fork at a swap meet that he could use.He then chose an inline H-D top clamp and went with a split bar design that he had made. The bars are indexed into the clamp so they won’t move around. The wheels are also a swap meet find.

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The 21” front and rear wheels are wrapped with Avon Venom tires. The rear wheel has a very cool drive side brake as well. John had the lathe and mill spinning overtime to fab this up. It is a four-piece hub that uses center dowels to keep it all centered up. An old Wassel fuel tank was modified by Gangster Choppers. The oil tank, rear fender and seat pan are also all Gangster pieces. John made the forward controls using old H beam connecting rods. The headlight and Fab Kevin taillight are both used swap meet parts as well. John left the bike all raw with no paint because he was thinking of ripping it down over the winter and giving it some color then. Bad Chad liked it as it was, and Danny Riddle of Hopewell, VA was called in to add some graphics to it. The crew at Gangster Choppers has seen Bad Chad ripping it around the area. Even though John didn’t get to keep the bike, he is psyched it’s being used for what he built it for: riding!

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Dirty Sanchez Tech Sheet
Owner: Bad Chad
City: Colonial Heights, VA
Fabrication By: John Dodson
Year: 2012 & 1974
Model: FLH
Time: 3 Weeks
ENGINE
Year: 1974 (Bought Form Billy Lane)
Model: Shovelhead
Builder: H-D
Ignition: Dyna 2000i
Displacement: 74ci
Pistons: Stock
Heads: Stock
Cam(s): Stock
Carb: S&S B
Air Cleaner: None
Exhaust: John Dodson
Primary: BDL
TRANSMISSION
Year:
Make: Baker / H-D
Shifting: 5 Speed Foot
FRA ME
Year: Chasis Design
Make: Rigid
Rake: 36 Degrees
Stretch: 2” & 2”
FRONT END
Type: Leaf Springer
Builder: Kiwi
Extension: 2”
WHEELS
Front Wheel: Swap Meet
Size: 21”
Tire: Avon
Brakes: None
Rear Wheel: Swap Meet
Size: 21”
Tire: 120/70 21”
Brakes: Gangster Choppers “Drive Side”
PAINT
Painter: None
Color: Bare Metal
Type: Bare Metal
Graphics: Danny Riddle – Hopewell, VA
ACCESSORIES
Bars: Gangster Choppers
Risers: Gangster Choppers
Hand Controls: Gangster Choppers/Swap
Gas Tank(s): Wassel/ Gangster Choppers
Front Fender: None
Rear Fender: Gangster Choppers
Seat: Gangster Choppers
Foot Controls: Gangster Choppers
Oil Tank: Barrel Style w/ Trick Porting
Taillight: Fab Kevin – Swap Meet
Headlight: Swap Meet
Photographer: David Thompson – Richmond, VA

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